February 14 news

WORTHINGTON – Thursday’s blowing snow and icy roads caused more than a dozen fender benders, crashes and rollovers across the area. The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of crashes by early morning, prompting Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs to contact Radio Works to ask motorists to slow down and beware of finger drifts and blowing snow.

A rollover was reported on Highway 35 shortly before 7 a.m. The victim was able to get out of her vehicle on her own. A crash was reported around noon on I-90, when the victim’s vehicle slid on the road and hit the median.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Melinda Kruse, age 53, of Luverne rolled her 1994 Ford Explorer on I-90 in Rock County when she lost control, entered the median and rolled. She and her passenger, 17-year-old Jennifer Kruse, received non-life threatening injuries.

A rollover in Heron Lake caused non-life threatening injuries for Chelsea Stronger, 21, of Heron Lake. Stronger was on Highway 60 when her Ford 500 left the roadway and rolled at approximately 3 p.m.

According to Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha of the Minnesota State Patrol, the southwest Minnesota District reported 11 vehicles off the roadway, seven property damage crashes involving three rollovers and two rollovers that resulted in injuries.

ROUND LAKE – The city of Round Lake is issuing a freeze warning as of February 13. The city said customers are starting to experience frozen underground water service. All customers are asked to leave a single cold faucet running. The city recommends a small stream about the size of a pencil lead. Even with warmer temperatures, they said, the frost will go deeper. Contact Round Lake City Hall at 507-945-8127 with any questions.

The City of Round Lake isn’t the only place suggesting a lightly running faucet. The City of Slayton made the same recommendation to their customers earlier this week. A recent notice from Slayton Public Works to residents states one faucet, preferably a hard water line, should be left running to keep water lines open. The stream should be pencil-lead sized, not just dripping. Slayton says the notice could be in effect through April, and the city will work with residents to adjust billing accordingly. For more information or questions please call Slayton City Hall at 836-8534.

Officials say there are several warning signs of an impending water service line freeze, including water temperature of 40 degrees or less coming out of the faucet; and water that appears rusty in color.

The risk of frozen pipes and service lines will likely continue over at least the next several weeks.

LUVERNE – A Hardwick man is in jail after allegedly assaulting his fiancée, according to documents from Rock County District Court. James Anthony Halloway, age 34, is charged with two counts of second-degree felony assault, one involving a dangerous weapon, two counts of third-degree assault and one for domestic assault.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call on Feb. 6 for a report of a severely beaten female in the Luverne emergency room. Law enforcement recognized the victim as someone who had previously been injured by Halloway.

Documents show the woman’s injuries showed a pattern of abuse over time, in addition to wounds that needed emergency attention. She said Halloway had beaten her with his fists and a dog toy. She received cuts to her face and head, as well as bruises on her arms, legs, back and chest. Marks of strangulation were apparent around her neck.
Deputies went to Halloway’s residence and arrested him without incident.

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa - A .22 caliber bullet found in a classroom resulted in a lockdown Thursday at the Estherville-Lincoln Central Middle School.

School officials say two students found the bullet around 9:00 a.m. at that the school was locked down while authorities looked through lockers and interviewed students. The lockdown was lifted three hours later and officials say no threat was found.

The incident follows a similar one that took place back in December of last year.

MINNESOTA - A St. Paul man who was convicted of killing his wife and dumping her body in the Mississippi River is appealing. Jeffery Trevino appealed the judgment and sentence he received last year in the killing of his wife, Kira Steger.

Trevino was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison, nearly twice the maximum recommended by guidelines. A jury convicted him of second-degree unintentional murder last October. He was acquitted of second-degree intentional murder.

At the time Trevino was sentenced, Judge Leonardo Castro found that Trevino acted with “particular cruelty” by dumping Steger’s body in the Mississippi River to evade detection.

A notice of appeal was filed in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday. A formal petition is expected to be brought to the courts in a few days.

MINNESOTA - U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation to fight the growing trend of smartphone theft by requiring all phones sold in the United States to have a “kill switch” that makes it impossible to reuse stolen devices.

Reports state thieves are targeting smart phones because of their high resale value. Nearly a third of all robberies now involve cell phone theft.

Klobuchar said cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing consumers more than $30 billion every year and endangering countless theft victims.

Klobuchar’s bill would give the FCC the ability to fine phone manufacturers or wireless carriers that refuse to comply.

Critics say the “kill switch” legislation, which requires a remote wipe of personal information, could open the door to serious abuse.

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